The year is 2071. It is a world very recognizable to our own with one major exception: the United States government has implemented a wide-scale cloning program that is tied directly to health insurance. Each U.S. citizen has a “Copy” living separately in a cleared zone in the Midwest. In the two decades since the program’s inception, no person has ever seen their Copy or been inside the Clearances, and no clone has ever successfully escaped—until now. The narrator, known only by the pseudonym “Raymond Bradbury,” is a sixty-six-year-old retired teacher who lives a solitary life. One day his quiet existence is disrupted by Anna, a woman he has not seen or spoken with since he broke her heart in college. Anna reveals surprising news to Ray: she is now part of an illegal activist group that morally opposes cloning, and for the first time, a clone has escaped from the Clearances and come into her group's possession. When the clone was brought to Anna’s home for safekeeping, she was shocked to discover she was looking at the exact replica of the man she knew and loved forty-five years earlier: Ray. Ray agrees to meet his Copy and spend the next year on the run with his younger “self” and Anna while writing about the experience. What Ray and Anna come to understand about the clones is horrific, though the real tragedy comes when the clone—whom they name Alan—begins to understand who and what he is. But it is through Alan—a clone with no claim even to his own existence—that Ray ultimately finds the vital and enduring nature of the human spirit that propels his report.